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Introduction to Crail

Fossils and Scottish Fossil Collecting in Crail
Midland Valley and Grampian Geological Guide

Giant millipede tracks, tree trunks in life position and many other fossils can be found to the South West of the pretty fishing village of Crail.

Crail - Midland Vally/Grampian
Last updated: [21/09/07]  last visited 2007
Written by Alister and Alison Cruickshanks
Fossils & Fossil Collecting in Hastings
(Crail Foreshore) -

Location Information

There are lots of fossils to see at Crail. Most of the specimens encountered can not be collected but the location is still well worth a visit, with those fossils on show being truly spectacular.

(Suitable for children)

There are some areas at Crail where the going may be tough for younger children, but with supervision older children should be able to manage this location. For younger children there is a nice sandy beach and for older folk there are plenty of tea rooms in the village itself.

The beach is not far from the village of Crail, but to get to most of the fossiliferous areas, you have to climb over some rocky patches and some fairly large sandstone platforms.


The majority of fossils to be found at Crail are seen on the bedding planes of outcropping sandstone. Loose fossils can also be picked up among the smaller rocks on the beach.

SSSI - it is illegal to remove the in situ material, or hammer the bedrock.

Please follow our national fossil collecting code

A UK Fossils & Discovering Fossils initiative (c) 2006


Be careful when climbing over the rock ledges and boulders. There is little chance of becoming cut off by the tide here as the cliffs are generally low and there is a coastal path behind the beach.

V. large fossil tree trunk in life position at Crail

Other Similar Locations

This is an excellent location for plant remains, but you could also try Little Haven, Nelton Haven in wales, Writhlington in Avon or Whitehaven in Cumbria, Offerton in Cheshire, Besom Hill in Lancashire or New Hay Quarry in Lancashire which is very similar or try Jurassic plant remains from Yorkshire, Scalby Ness, Hayburn Wyke, Filey, Cloughton Wyke and Gristhorpe Bay. In Scotland, you can also try Anstruther , East Wemyss, or Crail.

If you like looking for trace fossils, there are lots of locations all over the UK from various time periods. Abereiddy, Barns Ness, Blackgang, Causey Pike, Crail, Elgol, Fishguard, Freshwater East, Newhey, St Monans, Stair Stream, Presipe.

At Crail, look around this area.

Stone Tumblers are used for tumbling and polishing rough rock, stones and pebbles including those found on the beach and glass.

Whilst collecting fossils, on those days where you come back empty handed, you could collect rocks, stones and glass from the beach and tumble then at home.

These are all high quality machines to give a professional finish to your samples. The tumblers can be used with a variety of grits, most commonly Silicon Carbide Grit and Cerium Oxide. We have a wide range of rough rocks for sale too.

Microfossils are much easier to collect because they are so small that the vast majority of collections only concentrate on large finds. These small finds can simply be found by taking small samples of sands, crags, clays and soft rocks and examining them under a microscope.

We have a wide range of microscopes for sale, both for the study of fossils, but also educational and professional for use in the laboratory. We have Stereo microscopes, Compound Microscopes, Polarising Microscopes and Monocular Microscopes.

We have thousands of Test Sieves for Particle Analysis.

Endecotts Sieves: For accurate dependable results you can't buy a better test sieve than Endecotts. At every stage of manufacture each test sieve is individually inspected.

High Precision Tecan manufactures precision apertures as small as 3 microns for a wide array of applications such as filtering, sieving and nozzles. Its high-performance, ASTM/ISO compliant test sieves satisfy the most demanding fine particle grading requirements.

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- (C)opyright 2007 Joe Shimmin
UK Fossils Management - Alister Cruickshanks & Roy Bullard
UK Fossils Curator - Ian Cruickshanks
UK Fossils is a division of CWA Design and run in conjunction with UKGE. Whilst we try to ensure that all content is accurate and up to date we cannot guarantee this. UK Fossils takes no responsibility in the accuracy of this content, nor takes any liabilities for any trips, events or exchanges between visitors using either the discussion board or the UK Fossils planner. Any posted trips and events by UK Fossils are personal and not arranged by UK Fossils, therefore visitors should seek their own personal insurance cover. Please remember to always check the tide times.
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